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Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #27

Adult Child of an Alcoholic, ACoA, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Finding Peace, One Patient's Journey, Therapy For the Adult Child of an Alcoholic
Posted: August 10, 2015 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

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–Sessions: 15 of 53
Monday, March 30, 2009 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 290

While I was driving to this session, there was an earthquake. Because I was driving, I had not felt the earthquake, but I heard about it on the radio. It was a magnitude 4.3 earthquake that was described as minor. I arrived for my session, sat down on the couch and Elsie asked me, with great seriousness, “Did you feel it?” I told her that I hadn’t but I was aware of it. Elsie was clearly concerned and appeared to be perched on her chair. I told her that the building we were in was very safe, clearly not masonry, probably wood or metal frame which can flex and is unlikely to collapse. Elsie didn’t seem convinced. Then it hit me. I said, “Hey, why am I talking you down? Where’s my copay!” Elsie laughed and things settled down. Therapists are people too.

We reviewed my symptoms since the last sessions. After the previous session, I went home and later on felt some soreness in my chest. I became anxious and wondered if I was having a panic attack. I made an appointment to see Dr. Sue to ask her about my chest soreness.

Last Wednesday, at lunch, I told my wife that I feel bad telling her I’m tired or anxious. I don’t want to be that depressed person you see on television. I told her that I may be “this way” for a while. My therapy is overcoming a lot but it takes time. She is supportive and she can relate. She has had health issues that took time to treat and even then some of the symptoms don’t ever completely go away.

It felt very good to tell her these things. I worry about the soreness in my chest because that could be chest pains and that could be heart problems. I worry because if I were to have heart problems I would be failing her and the boys. I want to do everything reasonable to identify any heart problems and then let it go. Elsie tells me that this makes sense that I would feel better after telling my wife what I was feeling.

Last Wednesday I had much less chest soreness and less fatigue. I slept better for a longer time. Last Thursday was much the same. I made a note that says “things seem brighter”. I wasn’t referring to my emotional outlook. What I meant was that the world around me seems to be visually brighter. I know that sounds strange. Elsie says this makes sense.

Last Friday I had some chest soreness but it didn’t worry me the way it did earlier in the week. I had more energy and no desire to nap. Most days I want to nap in the early afternoon. My blood donation was very tiring, more so than normal. Last weekend my chest soreness was less frequent and didn’t last as long.

I discussed my son applying to colleges. We hear that some parents are doing their student’s homework for them, to get them into better colleges. We hear that some parents are pressuring their student to attend college close to home to save money. Elsie says parents doing the homework is a very bad thing. She also says kids needs to live away from home during college to develop into adults. There is nothing wrong with discussing with my son the pros and cons of colleges close and far away. Getting into college isn’t the final hurdle, and kids need to be informed but not pushed. She goes on to tell me that some cultures have very rigid demands on their children. Students may be required to attend law or medical school for example. She told me about a young patient she had who was depressed when she didn’t get into the college her family had specified. She told Elsie that she felt she had “wasted all that time”. She spent all her time in high school preparing to get into this college. Now that this didn’t happen, she sees how much she missed out on.

Elsie also told me about a patient whose son did not make valedictorian. This patient wanted Elsie to call the school principal to get this decision reversed.

She asked me how it will feel when my son leaves for college. I told her it will be sad and quiet but it will be nice to visit the UC Davis campus since myself and my wife both got our undergraduate degrees there.

I told Elsie that my son didn’t get into some of the colleges he had applied to. She pointed out that many graduate schools won’t allow you to attend if you went there for undergraduate. So, maybe it is best to not get into your first choice for undergraduate. She said it may be good if he were to attend a closer college for undergraduate and go farther away for graduate school. She has a friend whose student went to college all the way across the country and got very sick. It was difficult for the family to help her.

I told Elsie that I know parents that are paying for expensive private schools to get their student into the best college, and then they won’t be able to pay for college or graduate school if needed. She says many jobs require a masters degree so graduate school may be needed.

Elsie tells me it is good that we are supporting our son’s interests, that we don’t fall into the mainstream of parents where only medical and law school are acceptable. She says college is needed for everybody. We talk about how hard it is to get into UC Berkeley. She says it is almost impossible to get in there. She also says it is very good to get into a UC, many people would be very happy with this. I tell her that we know parents where the student did get into UC Berkeley, but the parents would not allow their student to attend. They require their student attend UC Davis because it was less expensive.

Elsie tells me that my wife and I are doing a great job, referring to our parenting.

We also discussed my job situation. I wasn’t worried about it this week. I had heard from a coworker that they know persons my age that are getting into nursing school which might be an option for me if I have to change careers soon.

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